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Advice for 40 year old

I am a 40 year old PhD physicist working in silicon valley. Due to a variety of reasons, I need to relocate my family to the east coast. I have long had an interest in financial markets and thus I'm considering a career in the financial industry. I have a few questions: 1) Would I be ignored or not taken seriously do to my age, 2) I do not have the time or resources to leave my full time job and attend school full time to obtain an MFE. Are there any respected online, part time programs? Do I need an MFE at all? I see that Columbia has an online "certificate" non-degree program, would something like that be sufficient? Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Joseph,

1. The golden time of quantitative finance are over since crisis 2009 (current hype for number crunches is big data)
2. They expect from quants more and more generalist knowledge, which also includes knowledge of regulation frameworks like Basel III.
3. Even if they "excuse" your age of 40, you will likely need to start as a junior due to lack of branch experience.
4. You will need to be able to prove a strong interest to financial markets.
I'd like to second yetanotherquant's reply.

Your age might be a bit of a problem if you're just now coming into the field, but more importantly is your lack of finance knowledge. You'd probably land a programming job as a quant-developer if you've got good programming skills.

I would say the MFE is necessary.